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Sexual Violence Commonly Asked Questions

Sexual Violence Advocacy & Prevention


  • Can I talk to someone about my assault if I don’t want to report to the police or Title IX?

    Yes, individuals can speak with a Sexual Violence Advocate in a confidential environment where reports will NOT automatically lead to a legal or Title IX report.  

    You can call 760-750-4912 or email To talk with someone after hours, please call our 24/7 Crisis Line at 888-385-4657. 

  • What exactly is considered rape?

    Rape is an act of non-consensual sexual intercourse (vaginal or anal) that may or may not involve coercion, the threat of force, violence, immediate and unlawful bodily injury or threats of future retaliation and duress. 

    Sexual assault is broader in definition than rape. Any non-consensual sexual act may be sexual assault. This could include unwanted touching on an intimate area of a person’s body, unwanted oral intercourse, or penetration of the anus or vagina with a foreign object. Sexual assault can include unwanted kissing or bodily contact that is sexual in nature. 

    Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature in the workplace or learning environment. Sexual harassment does not always have to be specifically about sexual behavior or directed at a specific person. 

  • Can I report anonymously?

    Yes, you have the option to make an anonymous report; however, it may limit the actions the CSUSM can take on your behalf. 
  • If I experienced sexual violence off-campus or before I enrolled or started working at CSUSM, can I still get help?

    Yes, you can receive support from campus resources as well as local resources. Please see the community resource list 
  • I’ve been sexually assaulted. Can I get a professional medical exam?

    You can get a SART Exam within 5 days of your assault.  

    Formerly known as a “rape kit,” a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) is a forensic exam conducted by a trained medical professional for the purpose of providing medical care and collecting and preserving evidence of a sexual assault. Even if you are unsure if you would like to make a police report, getting a SART exam allows you to preserve evidence until you make this decision.

    Exams must be performed within 5 days of the assault. If you are considering a SART exam, try to avoid bathing/showering, brushing your teeth, changing or washing your clothes, urinating, eating, drinking etc., as these can destroy evidence.

    However, if you have done any of these things, evidence can still be collected. If you have changed your clothes, bring the clothes that you were wearing at the time in a paper bag (not a plastic bag) to the hospital. SART exams are provided free of charge at local hospitals.   

  • I’m concerned that the person who did this to me might retaliate. What can I do?

    When an individual reports an act of sexual violence against them, there are steps that can be taken to support that person’s welfare during a sexual violence investigation. Some of these options may include no-contact orders, counseling, changing residence halls, and classroom changes. 

    In addition, CSUSM policies prohibit retaliation. If you think someone is retaliating against you based on your reporting of an incident, consider contacting your institution’s Title IX coordinator.  

    Some individuals also want to obtain a restraining order. Sexual Violence Advocates can provide you with information about restraining orders should you choose to pursue this option.